It is Yom Kippur, 2000.I am sitting at home, alone, trying not to keep turning on CNN, paralyzed as it is with grief.
And I take a shower, to help washthe sin from me, the sin of isolation and paralysis. And who walks in but Miriam, a bit distracted and lonely, and wanting to talk.
She has her timbrel with her, in casethere's peace at the end of this day but even her robes are wilting as if nothing has that old crispness. [End Page 41]
"In the old days," she says,"I danced at the defeat of those who tried to keep us in chains. Now I weep, even though they want us dead.
"We manage to survive. But we are all mingled in the salt water that once served only to divide."
Karen Alkalay-Gut Born in London in the Blitz, Karen Alkalay-Gut's education in the United States was supplemented by Yiddish Shule and extended Bible lessons in Yiddish. In 1972, she moved to Israel and teaches poetry at Tel Aviv University. Her poetry publications include The Love of Clothes and Nakedness (Sivan, 1999), High Maintenance (Neamh, 2001) and So Far So Good (Sivan, 2004). Open Secret: Poetry and Popular Culture (University of Washington Press) will be available in 2007.